Once considered one of baseball’s most durable pitchers, Freddy Garcia is just happy to be back in the big leagues.
Nine years ago, Garcia burst onto the scene with a 17-8 mark for Seattle as a rookie in 1999. The 33-year-old right-hander won at least 16 games four times, including a 17-9 campaign with the Chicago White Sox in 2006 as he notched his seventh 200-inning season in eight years.
After that year, Garcia was traded to Philadelphia and made 11 starts before he was forced to have rotator cuff surgery. He agreed to a minor league deal with the Tigers last month and pitched a combined five scoreless innings in two starts with Class A Lakeland and Triple-A Toledo.
“It’s great to be back in the big leagues this year,” Garcia told MLB.com. “When I started doing the rehab, I didn’t think I’d be able to come back because I couldn’t move my arm. I’ve worked really hard to get back to pitching. It’s a lot of hard work, man, and I’m glad I’m here with Detroit and they’re giving me a shot to pitch.”
Garcia’s last appearance was with the Phillies on June 8, 2007, as he labored to a 1-5 mark with a 5.90 ERA in a career-low 58 innings. He’s 5-5 with a 4.60 ERA in 18 career starts against the Rangers.
Texas (75-77) is in position for its first three-game home sweep of Detroit since May 10-12, 2002. The Rangers rallied for a 5-4 victory on Tuesday with three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, capped by Chris Davis’ RBI single.
The rally began when Michael Young led off with a walk on a full-count pitch, but Tigers manager Jim Leyland was left fuming since he felt Young should have been called out on strikes.
“I’m upset we lost the ball game. I don’t put the blame anywhere,” Leyland said. “But when you earn something, you should get it. That’s the only point I’m making. He was struck out. The rest of it, we didn’t earn. But Michael Young shouldn’t have been on. He was walking away to the dugout.”
Detroit (70-80) has lost six straight overall—one shy of its longest losing streak of the season during an 0-7 start.
Designated hitter Gary Sheffield had a single in four at-bats for the Tigers. Sheffield needs three homers to become the 25th player in baseball history to hit 500 in his career.
The Rangers will give Dustin Nippert (3-4, 6.20) his fifth start of the season. He’s won his last two outings to improve to 2-2 with a 4.64 ERA in his first four starts.
The right-hander, who has never faced Detroit, lasted five-plus innings and gave up one run Thursday in a 6-1 victory at Oakland in his last outing.